The Republic of South Africa has a well-developed rail system called Spoornet. Spoornet is a commercially run division of a state-owned company. Other rail systems associated with the South African lines extend into or run through Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In most cases, these lines are owned or managed by the countries they serve. The various lines constitute, in effect, a transcontinental rail system for southern Africa.
The major shipping port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is accessible to countries in southern Africa by the Tanzania-Zambia (Tanzam or Tazara) Railway.
That railroad is a 1,850-km (1,150-mi) link between Lusaka, Zambia, and Dar es Salaam and was completed in 1975. Most of the other railways outside of South Africa and Zimbabwe are marginal operations, frequently caught up either in fiscal crises or guerrilla warfare.